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Russian MMA great names ideal opponent for Moscow retirement fight

Fedor Emelianenko has revenge on his mind ahead of what will be his final career bout in Moscow in the summer of 2022

Fedor Emelianenko says he wants to avenge the last loss on his record when he steps into the cage for the final time in the Russian capital next summer, and he could even end his legendary career as Bellator’s heavyweight champ.

The 45-year-old icon of Russian mixed martial arts has only been defeated twice in the past decade, but his January 2019 knockout defeat at the concussive hands of reigning champion Ryan Bader apparently still troubles Emelianenko – to the point that Bellator chief Scott Coker admitted the veteran fighter wants a second bite against the American.

Bader will defend his heavyweight belt for the first time in more than two years when he faces Emelianenko student Valentin Moldavsky in Phoenix on January 29, and ‘The Last Emperor’ wants to be his next opponent.



“That’s what Fedor asked me,” Coker told MMA Junkie. “He’s like, ‘If Ryan beats Moldavsky, I want to fight Ryan Bader.’

“That’s what he said. I said, ‘Well, let’s talk about it and I’ll give you some other possibilities in the beginning of January, then let’s see how the fight unwinds and we’ll make a business decision, Fedor. How about that?’ And he said, ‘OK.’ And that was it.”

The previous meeting between Emelianenko and Bader was one of the most shocking fights of 2019.


The showdown, which was to contest the vacant title, began as so many Emelianenko fights have in the past – with the Russian taking the center of the cage and cocking the thunderous right hand which has been responsible for 16 knockouts on his professional resume. 

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Fedor Emelianenko produced a crowd-pleasing KO in Moscow. © Twitter @BellatorMMA
WATCH: Russian MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko claims sensational KO win over US rival Johnson at Bellator homecoming in Moscow (VIDEO)

Except this time it didn’t go to script. 

Bader, evidently well aware of the dangers posed by his veteran opponent, was light on his feet, darting in and out of the pocket before finally sensing the moment to strike, throwing a furious left which crumpled Emelianenko to the canvas. The fight lasted just 35 seconds. 


Interestingly, Bader, who was also the promotion’s light heavyweight champion at the time, has won just one fight since – against Lyoto Machida in April 2021 – and has been defeated by both Vadim Nemkov, who is considered by many as being Emilianenko’s protege, and Corey Anderson. He also fought to a no-contest against France’s Cheick Kongo.

It seems that Emelianenko’s motivation for revenge might well be undeterred by whether or not Bader remains world champion after he fights 11-1 Russian Moldavsky.

With the prospect of the Russian icon retiring from the sport in which he remains a hallowed figure as champion being a very real possibility, one suspects he’ll be watching Bader’s title defense with great interest.

Emelianenko’s most recent fight came in October in Moscow, when he eased past the challenge of Tim Johnson by knocking the American heavyweight out in the opening round.


https://ift.tt/3pJYWUe 01, 2022 at 12:11AM
from RT – Daily news

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